Next Coin > < Previous Coin < Back to Catalogue

Australia 1920 (S) Penny (Indian Obverse)

Mint:Sydney Mintage:Part 146,160 Estimate 50,000 Milling:Plain
Weight:9.45 grams Diameter:30.8 mm Composition:97% Copper, 2.5% Zinc, 0.5% Tin
Click to enlarge
Wear
Obverse 2 - Indian (Calcutta)
Click to enlarge
Wear
Reverse C - Calcutta
Designer: Sir (Edgar) Bertram Mackennal (Initials 'B.M.' raised on truncation)
Design:Left facing profile of George V
Legend:GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: •
Denticle Count:178 teeth
Mint mark: None
Characteristics:
Designer: William Henry James Blakemore (no attribution)
Design:'ONE PENNY' surrounded by 90 beads contained within concentric circles
Legend:• COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA •
Denticle Count:179 teeth
Mint mark: None
Characteristics:
Click on Wear to show high points first susceptible to wear
Value
BM
Ad
NP
8
Good
VG10
10
VG
F12
12
about F
F15
15
Fine
VF20
20
good F
VF25
25
about VF
VF30
30
Very Fine
VF35
35
good VF
EF40
40
about EF
EF45
45
Ext Fine
AU50
50
good EF
AU53
53
about Unc
AU55
58+
virt Unc
AU58
58-60
Uncirc
MS60
58-61
Uncirc
MS61
58-62
Uncirc
MS62
63-64
Choice Unc
MS63
64-65
near Gem
MS64
65-66
Gem
MS65
66-67
Gem
MS66
67-68
Gem
MS67
68
near Flaw
MS68
69
virt Flaw
MS69
70
Flawless
MS70
Proof
B
$30
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$40
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$50
+
NGC
5
 
PCGS
2
 
$75
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
4
 
$100
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
6
 
$125
+
NGC
15
 
PCGS
6
 
$175
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
6
 
$250
+
NGC
1
 
PCGS
7
 
$500
+
NGC
5
 
PCGS
2
 
$750
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
2
 
$1250
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
1
 
$1500
+
NGC
2
 
PCGS
1
 
$3000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
4
 
$4000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$5000
+
NGC
1
 
PCGS
1
 
$6000
+
NGC
2
 
PCGS
 
 
$10000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
1
 
$20000
+
NGC
1
 
PCGS
 
 
$40000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$80000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$175000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
Y
RB
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$1500
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$1750
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$4000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$5000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$6000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$7500
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$12500
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$25000
+
NGC
2
 
PCGS
2
 
$50000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
1
1
$90000
+
NGC
2
 
PCGS
1
 
$175000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$250000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
Y
R
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
"
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$6000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$7500
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$12500
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$25000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$50000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$90000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$175000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$250000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
Y
BM
Benchmark
Ad
Adjectival
NP
NGC/PCGS
Collectable grades
Does not exist by definition

Investment grades
-
Unlikely to exist

Aspirational grades
BV
Bullion or metal value

Not known in these grades
''
Value as above
Proof
Y (Yes)
N (Not known)
Last updated February 2020
Notes:
The ceremonial striking of the 'first official' pennies by the Sydney Mint in October, 1920 was almost certainly the 1920 'Plain' variety, as it seems inconceivable that coins presented to dignitaries would be less than perfect examples, devoid of all unauthorised experimental markings. The survival of so few 1920 'Plain' pennies in mint state, points to the entire mintage being Sydney-struck, and probably the product of one die. This die would not have been retired after the ceremony as it was common practice for production to continue until a die was exhausted, and perhaps another 50,000 coins were struck and released into circulation.

There is a common perception that the 1920 'Plain' Penny is easily found in low grade, but these poor examples are markedly different from the coins surviving in better grade. They have a concavity in the reverse strike that can best be described as a wave, ie in the central design, the fields appear sunken against 'ONE PENNY' and the scrolls. The two explanations are: the unlikely proposition that the Melbourne Mint suddenly abandoned marking its production with a dot below the bottom scroll and then went on to strike large numbers of 'plain' pennies; or, more probably, that the 1920 'Plain' Penny in most average circulated collections is a Melbourne-struck 1920 //. (Indian obverse) Penny struck on a filled die with little or no evidence of a mint mark. It should also be noted that the 1920 'Plain' Penny has straight based letters in the reverse legend, whereas most of the 1920 //. (Indian Obverse) pennies exhibit slight curvature. If there is any evidence of curvature at the base of letters in the reverse legend then the coin must be a 1920 //. (Indian obverse) Penny, as this was the only 1920 penny variety exhibiting this trait.

In 1996 Noble Numismatics sold a 1920 'Plain' Penny, reputedly ex the collection of A.M. Le Soueff, a past Deputy Master of the Melbourne Mint. This coin was described as a " Melbourne Mint Penny, 1920, selected specimen striking from dies (derived from the Indian master dies) that were subsequently marked with a dot above the lower scroll." It has been argued that the presence of this coin in Le Soueff's collection is evidence that the 1920 'Plain' Penny is Melbourne-struck. However, it seems logical that all the 'experimental' penny dies sent to Sydney would have been tested by the Melbourne Mint before their dispatch, and that he would have had access to a coin from these trials. Alternatively, Le Soueff may have picked up the coin in Sydney when he was seconded to the Sydney Mint to supervise its closure in 1926.